Social media has become a way of life. People now live life through cell phone screens, ready to post the next great accomplishment – their child’s third year of walking while picking the nose simultaneously. I see it every day. I go to pick up Gwen from the front of the school. Today is the last day of this absurd school schedule, hallelujah! Anyway, as I’m waiting there are so many moms actively using their cell phones. I’m amazed at the number who poise their phone in front of their child’s face taking video to later send to somebody. This is society’s new way of life. Nobody cares what fun activity you were recently involved in. Who would believe you unless you can show photographic evidence or video proof?
Through social media we have “friends” all over the world. Which means our self-esteem is wrapped around “likes.” Does anyone even talk to their neighbors anymore? Certainly not directly. I’ll give you a great example. A couple weeks ago this story was on the news and my jaw dropped.
The news told the story as if it was the most beautiful piece of humanity to cross the desk. Why not? A 75 year old man had his roof replaced by total strangers. Hello human kindness. Warm and fuzzy feelings all around, on to the next. Here’s my problem with it. Here’s my problem with anyone who thinks that story is beautiful. It took three months for anyone to help this man. Three whole months! An elderly man was on his roof day in and day out for three months and not once did his neighbors say a thing about it. Not once did it cross their minds to talk to this man and see how he was doing, much less ask what in the world he was doing alone on his roof. The only thing anyone said to him was basically, “Hey man, El Nino is coming. You better fix your roof before you wash away in the flood.” Thanks Noah.
He is a very proud man as the elderly tend to be. His roof needed replacing and he wanted to ensure a quality job was done. Fine. But what is wrong with his neighbors? What they can’t ask if they can help? The role of knight in shining armor was cast to a neighbor who so “kindly” posted about the situation on Facebook. Read the article. I’m not making this up! He posts on Facebook something to the effect of, “I got this elderly neighbor who has been on his roof trying to replace it shingle by shingle for the last three months and all I can think to do is put out a cry for help on Facebook. Anyone know how to do roofing?” Obviously I’m paraphrasing. I couldn’t find an article with the original Facebook post.
The post was shared more than 1,000 times. Why? Because it’s so easy to share, repost, or like something so noble on social media. Doing anything about it is another issue entirely. To be fair, I don’t know if the neighbor really took three months to actually turn to Facebook for “expertise” or if it took three months for volunteers to assemble. Either way, it’s the stupidest thing I have ever heard! I was raised to help my neighbor. Who cares if you don’t know how to shingle a roof? My family have all spent time on a roof, helping someone out, and got the job done in a day. That’s just how it is. Someone needs help, you don’t ask questions. You turn off your dumb computer, set down the phone, walk across the street, and help.
But the man was doing the job himself to ensure a quality job was done. Yes, it’s true. But what, the neighbors can’t pick up a phone and call around for referrals? A Facebook post. I’m shaking it makes me so crazy. Who does that? Why are there so many people in the world who think they can skate by because someone else will take care of it? I weep for the future.